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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat dated but still impressive
The Boston Strangler has dated somewhat: as with all revolutionary films, what seemed groundbreaking in 1968 seems almost quaint at times today. Yet it’s still interesting just how unjudgmental the film is, generally offering a tour of the city’s moral underbelly without ever assuming the same prejudices of the detectives failing to deal with the murders. Like...
Published on 22 Mar. 2006 by Trevor Willsmer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Fleischer and Curtis save this one, just.
Unfortunately even though the film is based on a true story this is a highly fictionalised account on what happened during the stranglers almost 2 years reign in the 60s dispatching unfortunate souls.

What will catch your attention apart from the excellent acting is the split screen technique. Director Richard Fleischer may alienate some viewers, but when it...
Published 7 months ago by Colonel Decker


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat dated but still impressive, 22 Mar. 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
The Boston Strangler has dated somewhat: as with all revolutionary films, what seemed groundbreaking in 1968 seems almost quaint at times today. Yet it’s still interesting just how unjudgmental the film is, generally offering a tour of the city’s moral underbelly without ever assuming the same prejudices of the detectives failing to deal with the murders. Like the same year’s The Detective, also from 20th Century Fox, it’s surprisingly level and sympathetic in its treatment of Hurd Hatfield’s gay antique dealer who is automatically regarded as a prime suspect in any sex crimes (was it an in-joke that it’s a portrait that gets him on the list, I wonder?), just as it resists the temptation to demonize William Hickey’s obsessive pervert (lesbians, however, aren’t quite so lucky). In many ways, this is a film more about attempting to understand and prevent further killings than a manhunt movie, with the eternally under-rated Richard Fleischer’s psychiatric training making him an ideal choice for the material.
The matter of fact procedural nature of the film is at times too low-key to make for compelling drama, but the split-screen sequences are still quite impressive and Tony Curtis’ performance is a remarkable piece of work from an actor who now seems all too content to play down to people’s low expectations. It’s also interesting to note the way that the interrogation scene, with Henry Fonda appearing in Curtis’ memories as he works his way inside his head, was so comprehensively ripped off by Spike Lee in Clockers to much less effect.
Sadly, while the Region 1 disc has some good extras, Fox's region 2 PAL disc ommits these and has only a good 2.35:1 transfer to recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fleischer and Curtis save this one, just., 17 Nov. 2014
Unfortunately even though the film is based on a true story this is a highly fictionalised account on what happened during the stranglers almost 2 years reign in the 60s dispatching unfortunate souls.

What will catch your attention apart from the excellent acting is the split screen technique. Director Richard Fleischer may alienate some viewers, but when it works it does look terrific, especially towards the climax of the film.

Tony Curtis in perhaps his finest role plays the Strangler and Henry Ford plays a law professor helping to hunt him down. A very serious George Kennedy plays the detective. The acting and neat direction save this one, however we aren't presented with the finest of scripts and the film sadly does two things which are near fatal. 1. It plays its cards too early .2. It goes on and on for about half an hour too much.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curtis at his best!, 17 April 2002
This tragic and powerful tale sees the growth of evil in Curtis' character, built up by a breath-taking and passionate performance from a Hollywood legend in what was a watershed performance for him.
This is a sinister film, brilliantly directed and so clever in the way the plot folds out.
If you haven't seen this, or any Curtis movie,I cannot recommend strongly enough that you give this film a go.
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5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC-Late sixties Gem of a movie, 20 May 2015
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This review is from: The Boston Strangler [DVD] (DVD)
absolute forgotten Gem,great recreation of true events about the Boston Strangler.Tony Curtis shouldve got an oscar for sure as he plays against type in probably his best role ever and George Kennedy and Henry Fonda as the cops out to find him.Split screen of the day makes this more interesting and entertaining and Curtis is almost likeable as the Strangler.must see.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dated but ok, 1 July 2014
This review is from: The Boston Strangler (DVD)
A film of its time with its usage of split screens, this actually works well in showing multiple police activity and public response that would have taken too long being shown serially.
Henry Fonda is good and sets a higher level than Tony Curtis would usually aim for but this is still not a great performance by Curtis and well below The Sweet Smell of Success.
May be over long as covers quite a few dead ends and blind alleys that the police covered but presumably this was to show that they didn't just pick the end suspect as a quick fit up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 25 Nov. 2014
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Quit simply, one of the best films about a serial killer ever made. Tony Curtis' best ever performance. Un-glamourized and to the point. No horrible explicitness, but still chilling. Great movie making. A must for all true crime film fans.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of its time., 13 Jun. 2009
Interesting first half exposing a colourful moral tapestry and an incompetent police department. Tony Curtis superb in second half as the maniac putting Kennedy and Fonda's good performances into the shade.

Sometime I wonder whether the person writing the film description on the packaging has actually seen the film eg. Incorrectly describes Fonda as a police detective instead of a law professor assigned by the AG to project manage the investigation.

Well worth checking out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth another watch after so many years, 25 Feb. 2015
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I watched this in my youth and it was nice to watch it again. Don't know if it was the first film to use split screen. It didn't arrive at first but the company sent me another when I had passed the promised delivery date
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curtis and Fonda Excel (Eventually), 23 Feb. 2012
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
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Richard Fleischer's 1968 film The Boston Strangler, based on the true life series of murders that took place in the Boston area in the early 1960s, is a powerful (and early) cinematic depiction of the activities of a serial killer (a phenomenon which has come to dominate much TV and film drama in recent years).

In fact, the film is, certainly during the first 40 minutes or so, actually quite a pedestrian affair, albeit the use of split screen cinematography during the (off-screen) murder scenes lends an effective, near-documentary feel to the film. The early sequences contain rather too many wooden and clichéd performances (and dialogue) to be convincing, and the frequent shots of media coverage of the grisly events have been conveyed more effectively in other, similar, films - examples that spring to mind include Richard Brooks' In Cold Blood and the more recent Zodiac. It is also interesting (and alarming) to see how the film portrays its, now very dated, views on homosexuality, as a rich, gay man is apprehended on suspicion of being linked to the murders.

It is not until, first Henry Fonda, playing the police officer (John Bottomly) tasked with co-ordinating the investigation, and then, second Tony Curtis, as Albert DeSalvo, the actual perpetrator of the crimes, are introduced onto the screen that the film really begins to become more compelling. Indeed, even Curtis is relatively deadpan (or even wooden) in his early scenes, and it is not until the latter interrogation scenes that both Curtis and Fonda begin to deliver two top-rate performances. In these scenes, as it becomes apparent that Curtis is suffering from schizophrenia (a fact emphasised brilliantly by showing Curtis and Fonda frequently alongside a full length mirror), his performance becomes more and more intense as this realisation dawns on him. By the film's close, Curtis has delivered, for me, a performance (albeit of a very different nature) to rank alongside his two other outstanding film performances, in The Sweet Smell Of Success and Some Like It Hot. The film's final shot, as the camera pulls back from DeSalvo in his interrogation cell is also brilliant, and reminiscent of the closing shot from Hitchcock's Psycho.

In summary, a film which improves as it progresses, lifting it from three to four star territory.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars boston strangler, 18 Feb. 2011
By 
M. J. Keane (UK) - See all my reviews
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Great acting by tony curtis.... very sad but highly underated film, not usually what i would watch....but would recommend it.
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